The JW's weekly photo feature, often showcasing the work of photographer Michael Datikash.

Crunch Time At Matzah Bakery


At shmura matzah bakeries, where the “guarded” unleavened kosher-for-Passover product is made, thoughts of the seders start around Chanukah.

By November, the wheat harvested in June — under supervision, to ensure that it does not come into contact with water and possibly become chametz — and ground into flour soon afterwards, is kneaded with water and baked.

Photos By Michael Datikash

Seder Shopping On the Upper East Side

Staff Writer

It’s easy to predict which seder items — from tables full of toys, crafts and books — will attract children.

“Kids love the frogs best,” says Marga Hirsch, coordinator of the annual Haggadah Fair at Park Avenue Synagogue that runs until the Friday before Passover. “Little kids love the inflatable frogs.”

Students browse Passover books at Park Avenue Synagogue

Remembering The Girls Who Never Walked Home


The victims of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire — 146 people, mostly young immigrant Jewish and Italian women — never got to walk home from the scene of the tragedy in Greenwich Village 100 years ago. So on Sunday, two days after the actual anniversary, a symbolic march took place in their memory.

Photo By Michael Datikash

Pawn Shop

Staff Writer

In his native Belarus, Mikhail Katz, right, was a champion checkers player and an enthusiastic student of chess.

In Brooklyn, where he migrated 16 years ago, he has continued to work at his vocation.

As head coach at the White Rook Chess Club in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, home for generations to waves of émigrés, he teaches 100 students, most of them in chess, most of them, like him, from the former Soviet Union, many of them present or aspiring champions.

Photo By Michael Datikash

Taking Yiddish On The Road


The variety show that toured four local Jewish communities in recent weeks is “Saturday Night Live” meets “Sesame Street,” its adult and children cast members might explain.

But they’d probably explain in Yiddish.

Photo By Michael Datikash

Fishbein On Fish


This is not your bubbe’s gefilte fish. When cookbook author Susie Fishbein took to the grill at a recent cooking demonstration in Brooklyn, the discussion centered on halibut, salmon and grouper, among others.

For the four-part series on seafood, Fishbein set up in the Pomegranate supermarket, and offered simple, quick techniques for a variety of different fish.

Photo By Michael Datikash

Havdalah At The Carlebach Shul


Rabbi Naftali Citron, who grew up as a follower of the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, has fond memories of the singer-composer leading the Havdalah service that marks the end of Shabbat. “He was at the most perfect pitch for the Havdalah,” says Rabbi Citron, who now serves as spiritual leader of The Carlebach Shul on the Upper West Side.

Photo by Michael Datikash

Rabbi Citron, below, says he leads Havdalah in the spirit of his mentor.

Photos By Michael Datikash

One Hundred And Counting, And Still Active


At the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, along the Hudson River in the Bronx, the oldest resident is 104 years old — but she’s not the only centenarian there by a long shot.

A total of 39 men and women who live at the Home are 100 years old or older, and many take part in the full array of the institution’s seniors-centered activities.

For some, it means a traditional pastime like an art class. Marion Rosner, right, offers instruction to three students: from left, Nathan Suss, Beryl Bernet and Frances Hershbaum.

Photo By Michael Datikash

Clip Art, Bukharian Style


Cutting hair was a popular Jewish profession in Uzbekistan when Daniel Fuzaylov grew up near Tashkent, capital of the then-Soviet republic, nearly three decades ago. His father, Rafael, was a barber. His grandfather, too.

So Fuzaylov, who came to the United States with his family in 1988, became a barber, learning from his father. They are among the latest émigré groups to pass a trade among themselves, like Korean groceries, Chinese dry cleaners and Greek diners.

Photo By Michael Datikash

The Tiles That Bind


In the old days of mah jongg — in the 1920s, when the game became a craze in the United States, not when it originated in China centuries ago — the pastime was often used as a fundraiser by Jewish women, who quickly embraced the game.

On Sunday, the game returned to its roots.

Photos By Michael Datikash
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